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#1 Karen

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:36 AM

Helloooooooo all.

I know, I know.

It's been a while. So sue me :P I am very sorry that I let the forum die down like this. I really want this to be a place where everyone can come to find comfort or answers to questions about their faith and other faith, and also to learn about new spiritual things.

So, I've decided to turn to YOU guys! This forum is a tool and resource for all of you!! So -

1. What do you want to see on here?

2. What can I do to improve the forum?

3. (most important question) What have you learned from this forum?


And completely unrelated, I think it's important to reflect on our spiritual journeys. It's been over a year since I started this forum, I believe, so I want to know how you all have grown.

If you don't have a religion, what is something you have learned from this forum, or would like to learn in the future?

I'll start. Hmm well. How to begin?? I got a boyfriend a couple months ago (go me! woo!) who matches my theology pretty well. He's a little bit more radical than me, if you can believe it! I have had a tough time managing a relationship and time with God, which isn't an issue I had when I was single.

I'm also running a Bible study in my dorm next year, and I want to spiritually prepare for that and learn what God wants me to do with it. Prayers would be great!

I have also been exploring my theology a little bit and realizing that it's OKAY that I don't always fit in with a church's theology, it's okay to have my own thoughts about God, and most importantly, that I don't always need a church to grow spiritually. It's been an adventure and a struggle to learn how to grow outside of a church or community.

Ok, your turn!!!
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#2 Elena

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:11 AM

I'm pretty satisfied with it all. Um, yes regarding my religion I'm christian, I believe and that is it. Won't argue with anyone if He exists, but I could. Can't fall out of bed and wake up with new beliefs because someone said something(one example). We can be very united at times(on the forum), like when people fake their own kidnapping live on the forum, we broke it down to science then(sgt harbinger and his pal) It was a Bit funny.
If you pray with the heart you'll get as many answers you want, through a person, seeing a book/quote/banner/tv, or in a dream.
Whatever the religion have faith. Be you.


* I would do well with speeches *

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#3 Karen

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 02:40 PM

Hi Helen!! Thanks for responding :D

I will definitely pray for you on help with speeches! I know where you're coming from, I really really HATE public speaking. I like how you don't really want to argue with others. It doesn't really help anyone, does it? And it's okay to stick to your beliefs, but listen with open ears. There are lots of Truths out there!
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#4 Elena

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:23 PM

Hi Helen!! Thanks for responding :D

I will definitely pray for you on help with speeches! I know where you're coming from, I really really HATE public speaking. I like how you don't really want to argue with others. It doesn't really help anyone, does it? And it's okay to stick to your beliefs, but listen with open ears. There are lots of Truths out there!


that's true, but meant that there's people who want you to take their opinion forgetting yours for it.
Oh and I am not shy at all, I would be very comedic, because I watch a lot of comedy, and probably wouldn't stick to the
script, would improv a lot, that also would happen in the acting world, because in my reality I don't a speech, casual things mostly. I retouch photos all the time, trying to find a job, maybe you could put a word for me to God? I return the favor x

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#5 Karen

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:54 AM

I absolutely will! :)
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#6 Elena

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:39 AM

I absolutely will! :)


thank you x

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#7 Monkey Cartwheels

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:24 PM

The biggest thing I would like to see is more input from those with little or no religious following, obviously not people who just want to attack religion, but people who are willing to discuss why they don't follow one and stuff like that.

I think that you are doing a fantastical job running this place, makes it even easier when not many people post here doesn't it? :P Just kidding. No negatives on the way its being run.

What have I learned from this forum so far you ask? I've actually learned a load about Judaism thanks to Arie! I've learned that loads of people from different religions and or religious denominations can get along and discuss stuff in a civilized manner.
And most of all I would say that the believers and non believers will still get together and support love and care for each other when times are hard (Speaking from an outside and a personal perspective).

---------------------------

Man, my spiritual journey has been nothing short of spectacular over the time this has been open.
I've meet so many people that I love inside and outside the forum. So many people that have been a huge thing for me and they may not even know it. One person in particular that random went up and stopped posting in here much to my sadness, but hey.
My mind set has moved, my ideas of people and lifestyles have changed.
Its been a good year for my faith and I hope it continues.

God bless.


We can be very united at times(on the forum), like when people fake their own kidnapping live on the forum, we broke it down to science then(sgt harbinger and his pal) It was a Bit funny.


HOLD THE PHONE!
That was fake!!?

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#8 Karen

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:24 AM

Heyyyyy Joe!!

I've missed chatting with you. Message me on facebook sometime, will ya? :P And I agree it would be nice if people posted ahahahah. Besides myself of course! But I understand that people have been busy and I have been no exception.

I too have learned a ton about Judaism (BIG thanks to Arie!!!) and I've seen that even though sometimes we don't all get along on a point, we can come to agree to disagree and at least try to respect each other's points of view. I too wish that more people who weren't religious posted in here! That was my original goal with the forum - I wanted this to be a place of unity and in a way,I think it has become that. Not exactly as I had planned but what I want isn't always what God wants.

If you don't mind me asking, how has your faith changed this year? Mind sharing? I can also share some details, if you'd like. My faith has also changed a lot!

And I know, I didnt know that was fake! I had the same reaction as well when helen posted that!!
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#9 Kim.

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:34 AM

I think Karen should post more. I'm so tired of wanting to post in a thread and can't because of double posting. :P LOL.

Forum's good. I've learned a good deal, but I'm not sure if I can say that it's been a major contribution to my faith development. I think any online forum runs the risk of being less influential when traffic ebbs and when a shared community exists solely on the basis of written word and not in-person contact. I think the resourcefulness of this forum and the community it helps is great otherwise.

I would also encourage greater open-mindedness and encouragement for others' beliefs, however different from ours and be able to acknowledge the possibilities of continued or new faith development--whatever context that includes.

What I've gotten out of it? Understanding that even under one religion can exist so many different opinions about God. I've enjoyed the discourse.

I wish more people would engage, people who identify differently.

Anddd...Karen needs to post more (about how her faith has changed and etc etc...). :) lol

Edited by Kim., 11 June 2012 - 02:38 AM.

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#10 Elena

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 08:33 AM

---------------------------


HOLD THE PHONE!
That was fake!!?



YES!

Heyyyyy Joe!!


And I know, I didnt know that was fake! I had the same reaction as well when helen posted that!!


yeah, sorry it was a shocker. I had a sign about her after that idiot said she was kidnapped,
coz I prayed for her and i had a feeling it wasn't true, but didn't believe it, until I actually
read all opinions about the story and we came to the conclusion it was a fake story top to bottom.

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#11 Monkey Cartwheels

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

Heyyyyy Joe!!

I've missed chatting with you. Message me on facebook sometime, will ya? :P And I agree it would be nice if people posted ahahahah. Besides myself of course! But I understand that people have been busy and I have been no exception.

I too have learned a ton about Judaism (BIG thanks to Arie!!!) and I've seen that even though sometimes we don't all get along on a point, we can come to agree to disagree and at least try to respect each other's points of view. I too wish that more people who weren't religious posted in here! That was my original goal with the forum - I wanted this to be a place of unity and in a way,I think it has become that. Not exactly as I had planned but what I want isn't always what God wants.

If you don't mind me asking, how has your faith changed this year? Mind sharing? I can also share some details, if you'd like. My faith has also changed a lot!

And I know, I didnt know that was fake! I had the same reaction as well when helen posted that!!

Hah, thanks.
Don't be shy to drop me a message, I'm likely to forget.

How has my faith changed? *WARNING! I MAY TAKE UP A LOT OF ROOM HERE*
Well.... At the start of the year I was just going with the flow, doing what ever, then I got thrown in the deep end. I moved over 150km away from home, surrounded by complete strangers, without a church to attend, having to buy my own groceries and not having a huge amount of spendable income. I was feeling pretty good about it but still pretty bloody nervous as one could imagine!
It was a case of either dive deeper in my belief or drop it all together.

I learned
let God do the work He has planned for you
I was amazed at how fast and effective God is. The first day I was at the uni flat complex I was at I was in a different flat, it was horribly dirty and a load of us complained. We had tried to get it so that some other dude ended up in the room I ended up in, but he couldn't and I ended up there.
It was certainly God's plan as one of my room mates was the only other male Christian in the complex and we got along extremely well.
Then, not even a week had passed and I was at school and was sitting by these two chicks, one of them I had partnered up with for something the day before (Because she was hot), the other one asked me if I was going to the "Start of the school year" party that weekend. I said I wasn't because I was going to Parachute Festival (Christian fest), and the other girl said she was also going with her church. I asked what one it was, got the address and BAM! It was the best damn church I've ever been to in my life. I never went to another one the whole year. It was amazing!
I also made so many Christian mates, many that were even at my school.

God makes your life a hell of a lot more comfortable
At Parachute Festival I got prayed over by the vocalist and guitarist from one of my favorite Hardcore bands, which was amazing, it was a prayer of protection and a prayer of wholeness. The next month at least I had a feeling in my stomach, a feeling of fullness. A feeling that God was with me and was always going to be with me. Similar type of feeling you get during real good worship at church.
Not only that, but later in the year me and my room mate went through a few spells of not attending the youth group due to tiredness or lazyness or insert-another-excuse-here-ness, I would really start to feel like crap during these times, I really felt almost depressed, not happy, blue, whatever. Just not good. Then I would go we would go to youth group the following week and I don't know about Tim, but I would have the most amazing encounter with God. Ones that would nearly move me to tears. And I would get the feeling.
God knew I needed to keep going to that youth group so he would make me feel stink when I didn't go.

God does have a plan for you, and He may already be setting you up for it right now
For about 4 years, I was completely set, 100% on being a camera operator for TV or Movies or whatever. I now know that it was all part of a huge plan that is still taking place at the moment. It even includes my baptism which took place a year before I went to Auckland.
For a long time God wanted me to go to Auckland and it gets interesting when God told me to get baptized. I didn't choose when I wanted to get dunked, we started talking about it at my youth group at home and every. Single. Time the word "Baptism" was said, it was like someone poked me in the chest with their finger, it was God saying "Oi, do that which they are talking about". So I did, and there was nothing magical, no tears (Apart from my Nana) and it was done. God wanted this done so I could develop a better foundation of my faith before moving away.
The second stage of it I only realized when I returned home at the start of this year, I have no desire at all to work in the TV or Film industry anymore, but I am so focused on doing Christian ministry, and being a touring musician. While in Auckland, the amount of people in bands that I love I meet is crazy. One dude from the church I was at let me borrow his bass guitar long term so I could learn to play it. I really got to know the dudes that prayed for me at Parachute and meet heaps more people and got some solid contacts in the industry.
Even now I'm meeting dudes that are keen as to do what I want to do and we are planning to do stuff!


I could go on but my hand is starting to cramp and its 2am.

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by the way i hate alcohol, just thought i would mention that


#12 Lady Deadpool

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 04:33 PM

I too have learned a ton about Judaism (BIG thanks to Arie!!!)

^This. I knew quite some stuff about Judaism. I tend to read a lot. But it feels different being told things by a believer of a particular religion. Sometimes people hear stuff, most of the times false stuff when it comes to some religions.
Also the fact that it's really easy to start a fight about religion, especially through internet, yet we respect one an other. Granted, sometimes we can seem quite passionate when supporting a certain opinion :P but still in a respectful manner.

If you don't mind me asking, how has your faith changed this year? Mind sharing? I can also share some details, if you'd like. My faith has also changed a lot!

About that I'd like to say that my faith hasn't changed so much as, I can't find the right word lol been understood in a better sense? I lost 3 people close to me the past months. All of them were old so it was their time but still I got to face the concept of death and come to terms with it. I realized I was rather happy and curious about the afterlife, about them reunited with God, rather than devastated they left us. I got to visit Church more and I learned a lot about our burial tradition. The psalms and other things.

---
Question.
Okay guys I have a question, which I didn't know where to ask. It's about thinking sinful stuff, just thinking; is it a sin? Because I have difficulty accepting that thinking about bad stuff is the same sin as performing them. I mean, how can you even shut out some thoughts some times? How can you control your brain not to have sinful thoughts? I personally thought that it's only a sin once you perform the sinful things you want, when you act in a sinful manner. Not when you just think about it. But some people I know told me other wise and I'm conflicted. I was just wondering if you personally consider bad thoughts as a "sin".

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#13 Karen

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 07:11 PM

---
Question.
Okay guys I have a question, which I didn't know where to ask. It's about thinking sinful stuff, just thinking; is it a sin? Because I have difficulty accepting that thinking about bad stuff is the same sin as performing them. I mean, how can you even shut out some thoughts some times? How can you control your brain not to have sinful thoughts? I personally thought that it's only a sin once you perform the sinful things you want, when you act in a sinful manner. Not when you just think about it. But some people I know told me other wise and I'm conflicted. I was just wondering if you personally consider bad thoughts as a "sin".


Yay Joe! I didn't know you moved from home! I'm glad you got away and are on your own for a while. I also knew that you wanted to be a camera operator but I've learned that what we want isn't always what God wants. And it's really hard to deny ourselves and say that what we want is best! But God's plan for us really reflects our True Selves, I think.

And okay Dina, let's see. This is a difficult question and I'll do my best to answer it!

The Bible is clear on sinful thoughts - "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28), and I'd say that the same goes vice versa for women looking at a man with sinful thoughts. That being said, the Bible is very old. Very, very old. And the standards in it reflect the cultural standards of the time. I do not think that God condemns us for having sinful thoughts. He gave us a brain to think, and use, and to be completely honest I don't think he concerns Himself with our daily, minute-to-minute thoughts. I think that He wants us to be the best people we can be, by spreading Love to others and doing good works. I believe that He cares about the grand scheme of things, rather than what exactly we are thinking.

Sin is an interesting thing. Many Christians have a very harsh view of sin, and it makes us feel bad about ourselves, not worthy of God's love, and that we have to redeem ourselves if we even want to come close to God. I think that this brings us father away from God. It's very hard to do these things! It's also, I think, not good or very healthy to be so self-depreciating that we think we can never be close to God just because we think bad thoughts or masturbate, or be gay, or whatever else may be considered a sin.

God is right here with us. He is our Friend - do we tell our friends about our bad thoughts? Well, some people do. I think best friends tell each other things - "I fantasize about this guy/girl", "oh, I'd totally do him/her". Sound familiar? And do our friends condemn us? No, they do not. And God is the ultimate friend - I don't think He condemns us. He loves us UNCONDITIONALLY, bad thoughts or no bad thoughts.
__________________________________________________________________

Okay Kim! You wanted me to post more about how my beliefs have changed! You're in for it, now :P

Let's see. My spiritual journey has been long, and it's still not over. I was very into mainstream christian culture for a while, you know - the whole hillsong, jesus culture, raising your hands when you worship, that sort of thing. I still like that stuff, but I realize now that that's not all there is.

After reading "Weird" by Greg Groeschel (I think that's how you spell his last name!) and "Friendship With God" by Neale Donald Walsch, I realize now that my Chrisianity is supposed to be truly unique. I believe that God is one God and He is also a pantheistic God - I don't believe that there is a Chrisitian God, Muslim God, etc. There is one God, and we are all meant to love Him/Her/It. I don't believe that God has a gender. God transcends all of these human labels. We have just given God a gender in order to make Him more relateable for us.

I believe in a radical love - love for EVERYONE, and acceptance for everyone, because we are all God's children. We are all on different paths to the same thing - Eternal Life. All roads lead to Rome, so to speak. We are all doing the best we can, muddling along in our daily lives.

I believe that we need to talk to God as a friend, not as a King. We should tell Him everything, and also ask things of God. We shouldn't feel bad for asking - as God puts it so nicely in Walsch's book - we ask things of our human friends, don't we? A true friendship is how much 2 people can lean on each other and ask favors of each other without fear of rejection. I believe God wants us to ask for things! And when we do, He will give us the means to accomplish them!

I've had the opportunity to discover who I really am in God thus far, although I know my journey is far from over. As some of you may know, my grandmother really isn't doing well and her time to pass on is pretty near. I've been told that I have to cry according to the Western standard of death, but I know that death is a part of life and life is eternal. I know she will be just fine. And that is comforting to me :)

Sorry for the long post peeps! If you made it this far, you get a virtual high five!!
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#14 Monkey Cartwheels

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 01:34 PM

I think the answer to that question is as simple as, would you repeat that thought out loud? Would you tell Jesus that thought?
I guess if you think about it and are really digging that thought, for example, If you are thinking about how much you are wanting to beat someone up and REALLY want to do it but don't. You are still showing the amount of aggression toward that person, they don't see it but God does.
I avoid thoughts like that...

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#15 Arie

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:34 PM

To answer Dina's question. Again, this is through the Jewish perspective. We have tradition that says G-D does not blame us for our thoughts, it is the actions that are sins. That being said there are specific sins that have to do with thoughts. Thinking innapropriate thoughts during prayers for example. While not exactly a sin, it isn't exactly right either. I don't know what examples you are thinking of. But, I dont think you are really sinning unless you are doing that sinful act.

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#16 Lady Deadpool

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

Thanks for your answers guys! It's a tricky question and I'm sure there's not a proven "right" answer :/ I know I'd never do what I'm thinking about. But I can't help to have some bad thoughts and the thing is that for the seconds I think about them it feels good. And then I feel bad about thinking about it.

I think the answer to that question is as simple as, would you repeat that thought out loud? Would you tell Jesus that thought?

Yes I totally would. For most of them, I'd feel embarrassed tbh, but I would.

Edited by Nekyia, 14 June 2012 - 02:02 PM.

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